MS M.917/945, pp. 312–313

Download image: 

St. Scholastica

The Netherlands, Utrecht
ca. 1440
7 1/2 x 5 1/8 inches (192 x 130 mm)

Purchased on the Belle da Costa Greene Fund with the assistance of the Fellows, 1963

MS M.917/945, pp. 312–313

Scholastica, twin sister to St. Benedict, wears the habit of a Benedictine abbess and holds a book and a crozier. Her usual attribute, a dove, the form in which she ascended to heaven, is lacking here, while the border contains an antithetical scene of two boys hoping to snare a bird.


Suffrages are short prayers to individual saints. As protectors of medieval people, saints were their doctor in plague, their midwife at childbirth, their guardian when traveling, and their nurse during toothache. If the Virgin was the figure to whom one addressed the all-important petition for eternal salvation, it was from saints that one sought more basic or temporal kinds of help. While the Virgin became, as the Mother of God, almost a goddess herself, saints retained more of their humanity and thus their approachability.


Image courtesy of Faksimile Verlag Luzern